Filed under: Album Reviews
Thanks once again to everyone who dropped a comment on the ‘Right Or Wrong’ debate; felt like we had a really good discussion going there (still a chance to comment though!) that really made me think about the issues involved. One thing is for sure about the world of hip hop blogs: they are a forum for discussion of both the music, history, culture and the issues that have arisen as a result of the dawning of the digital age. Let’s keep this level of thought involved in blogging and it can only lead to good things.
Although I always try to keep my posts fresh in terms of whether I have seen albums elsewhere, the reality is that this is a virtual impossibilty given the sheer number of blogs online. I realise that perhaps my strengh lies in my comments on albums that I post up and not on exclusives or exceptionally rare joints, so although I will try to always provide links to stuff that I haven’t seen elsewhere, I will still persist in commenting on albums that I enjoy and feel are valuable to the culture despite their presence elsewhere in the past. I also assume that many readers of this blog may be new to this online community and so doubling up in places isn’t necessarily that much of a crime, and I hope experienced bloggers will still value a discussion on these releases. Having said this, I haven’t seen ‘Goodfellas’ up recently as far as I can remember, so I’m going for it.
‘Runaway Slave’ is of course an undisputed classic within the genre, spawning great hits like ‘Soul Clap’ and ‘Fat Pockets’ as well as being a consistent LP for its entire duration. Their follow up effort was by no means as refreshing as their debut, falling victim somewhat to the prevailing attitude at the time that you needed to come off harder on the sophomore album, but it still does this better than most and contains some of the best work that the duo ever produced. In fact, if I had to name my favourite Show & A.G. cuts then I reckon there would be an even spread between the two albums.
The most commercially viable single here was the Premier produced remix of ‘Next Level’ which seems to have gained much more exposure than any other song on the album. Of course, it’s a banger (although I prefer the original mix that will feature on the upcoming ‘FDB Guitar Mix’ as well as on this album).
One of the other highlights for me is ‘You Want It’ with Party Arty providing a seriously gritty chorus hook backed by a great bassline and quality horn loop. I also like ‘Add On’ which features a very tasty horn sample, characteristic sleighbells and heavy snares courtesy of Lord Finesse production and ‘Got Ya Back’ which professes the strength of brotherhood amongst friends on the mean streets of the ghettos in the big city. Occasionally, the album goes overboard with its street level approach: ‘Got The Flava’ and ‘Neighbahood Sickness’ are almost too dark for my tastes, and I am by no means faint-hearted when it comes to harder-edged hip hop.
I know that at one time, Roc Raida was the tour DJ for Show & A.G. and in fact provides some of the scratching on the album. I would have loved to have seen the duo during this time; pure and unadulterated hip hop. Alas, I was still barely pubescent and living in London, so the chance most definitely passed me by. To have been ten years older… (not to wish my life away).
In light of the discussion over the last couple of days and given that this goes for up to $150 on Amazon due to its out of print status, I have few qualms in throwing this up. If you’re a fan of their first album then do expect something different, but embrace the sound and enjoy.